Our second annual global report into writing effectiveness, State of Writing 2021, is now available.

Who knows when to use who versus whom?

Posted by Wendy Wood on 30th January , 2020 in Grammar
Share this

My husband and I just celebrated the one-year anniversary of adopting our dog. He’s been such a wonderful addition to our family, and we’ve given him the life of a very pampered pooch.

 

If you’re in the US you’ll have seen those paw-shaped bumper stickers that say, “Who Rescued Who?” I’ve even thought about getting one. Except… I can’t bring myself to because they irritate me to no end! While I love my canine and completely agree with the sentiment of those stickers, they’re grammatically incorrect. You see, who is a subject pronoun. Who does the action of the verb. If the pronoun is the object of the verb — that is, if the pronoun receives the action of the verb — use whom.

There’s an easy trick to determine whether to use who or whom. Rewrite your sentence using he or him in place of who or whom. Let’s take that bumper sticker as an example. “Who rescued who” may not sound wrong, but “He rescued he” certainly does! You can see that it would be “He rescued him” so those stickers should read, “Who Rescued Whom?” Now, who is with me to correct them?

Wendy Wood
Proofreader

 

Did you enjoy Super Grammar?

Get a new and super useful grammar tip from our proofreader Wendy, directly to your inbox, once a fortnight in Typeset’s The Write Fit newsletter. Subscribe here:

thumbnail

Know what you need?
Get in touch for an obligation-free chat!

Let's get started

© 2022 Typeset®. All rights reserved. Work With Us

I’d like free content marketing insights
Pop your email in the box and we’ll keep in touch through our newsletter, which is jam-packed with great information and advice. (We’ll never pass on your details to anyone!)


Site by StudioJS